Superb, authoritative, and compelling, a fresh history of the Persian Great Kings that combines exuberant storytelling with outstanding scholarship that is both entertaining and bracing revisionist, filled with a cast of ruthless conquerors, queens, eunuchs and concubines that brings the Persian world blazingly to life through Persian instead of the usual Greek sources. The result is a tour de force.
A masterful account and evocation of the history and culture of the first true world empire
Always lively, often challenging, this is a very welcome exploration of one of the greatest empires and cultures of the ancient world. Highly recommended
This is an engaging, pacy account of the Persian Empire which is based on a rich range of sources. Going right up to the use of Cyrus the Great in modern Iran, the 'Persian Version' on which Professor Lloyd-Jones focuses has has much to tell us about how different cultures create history and use it to tell their stories
For too long the world of Achaemenid Persia has been viewed through the eyes of often hostile foreigners. In this compelling investigation Llewellyn-Jones draws on a wealth of evidence - from imposing cliff-cut inscriptions to tiny seal-rings - to reveal the Persian Version of its empire's stirring history, far removed from the traditional stereotype. Spotlighting not just the royal dynasty but a wealth of other characters (including ambitious courtiers, a wily Egyptian administrator, a Greek slave-girl enmeshed in Persia's great power game) he brings to vivid life a sophisticated, highly complex, tightly run society with an acute sense of its place within the cosmos, where devotion to the Truth could coexist with cruelty and violence, and imperialism with cultural and religious tolerance. Clear, convincing, and meticulously researched, Persians, The Age of the Great Kings is not just a timely reassessment of the world's first superpower - it's a wonderfully accessible page-turner to boot
'A brilliant feat of resurrection, restoring to the Persian Empire the colour, brilliance, and complexity that renders it one of the most fascinating and influential of ancient civilizations, and of which for so long, in most histories of antiquity, it has been bled.'
'Persians is a wonderful introduction to the ancient world's largest and most consequential empire. Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones is one of the foremost scholars of Achaemenid history, and he gives us a gripping account of the history of ancient Persia, tracking how a small tribal society in southwestern Iran came to be the world's first superpower.'